Databases: An Overview
Chapter 7,
Exploring the Digital Domain
Brief History of
Database Computing
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External files/programming
Data files, records, and fields
File management software
Indexed files/file access methods
Database management systems (DBMS)
Files, Records, and Fields
Indexed Files
The Two Major DBMS Models
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Network Model
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Separate files are linked via physical links (link
fields)
Favored where efficiency and performance are
highest priorities
Relational Model
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Separate files are linked via logical links in the
data model
Favored where flexibility and support for ad hoc
queries are highest priority
The Two Models
Database Management System
Data Structure
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Flat file systems use only one file to model
and store data
Many database problems will require multiple
(but related) files for data modeling
Database structure must always de defined
upfront
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records and fields must be defined
field datatypes must be specified
Database Management System
Accessing the Data
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Forms are often used for entering/viewing
data
Queries are constructed to retrieve data
satisfying specific criteria
Data can be sorted in multiple nested levels
Reports are constructed (often based on
queries) for printed data
Subtotals and control breaks can be
incorporated into reports
Example Data Form in
Microsoft Access
Example Report in Access
Query Languages
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Query languages, like programming
languages, have specific syntax
These are more user-friendly than most
programming languages
SQL (Structured Query Language -- often
pronounced “sequel”) is a de facto standard
QBE (Query by Example) languages are also
commonly used, but the particular form and
syntax is much more vendor dependent than
SQL
Query Construction
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Queries are structured to retrieve data
from specified fields in indicated tables
(files) in a database
Retrieved data must satisfy particular
search constraints
Boolean operators -- especially logical
and and logical or -- allow the
construction of multiple search
constraint queries
Example Query
QBE in Microsoft Access
Example Query
QBE in FileMaker Pro
Example Queries -- SQL
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SELECT Name FROM Sales WHERE
Amount > 5000 AND Region = “West”
SELECT Name FROM Sales WHERE
(Amount > 5000 AND Region = “West”)
OR (Amount > 2000 AND Region =
“Midwest”)
Using Multiple Files in Access
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Relationships must be specified when
database structure is defined
Logical links are made explicit by linking
appropriate fields in different tables
Summary
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Software that manages the storage and retrieval of
data dates from the early days of computing
File management systems were the precursors of
today’s database management systems
There are two primary database models today: the
network model and the relational model
The network model provides excellent performance;
the relational model provides excellent flexibility
The first step toward creating any database is the
definition of the structure of the data to be modeled
Summary (cont’d)
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All database management systems provide the ability
to define data entry forms and reports for output
Query languages provide user-friendly access to
database data
Queries are defined to retrieve data that matches (or
satisfies) specified search constraints
SQL and QBE are two popular query languages
SQL has become a de facto standard for query
languages
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